Kitagawa, Daisuke

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Kitagawa, Daisuke

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Daisuke Kitagawa was born on October 23, 1910 in Taihoku, Japan. Prior to emigrating to the United States in 1937, he attended St. Paul’s University (Rikkyo) and the Central Theological College in Tokyo.

In the United States, he received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the General Theological Seminary in New York. Kitagawa was ordained a deacon in 1939, a priest in 1940, and served from 1939 to 1942 as Priest-in-Charge at St. Peter’s Mission in Seattle and St. Paul’s Mission in Kent, Washington. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he was interned with other Japanese Americans at the Tule Lake relocation center in Newell, California. There he served as the Minister at the Tule Lake Union Church and as the Field Secretary for the Federal Council of Churches’ Committee on Japanese-American Resettlement.

After the war, Kitagawa moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he continued his work with Japanese Americans in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. Additionally, he ministered to other minorities, founding the Rainbow Club in 1947 to encourage social interaction, friendship and understanding among the different racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds of the city.

In 1956 he began working with the World Council of Churches (WCC), first as Associate Secretary to the Department of Church and Society and then, in 1960, as the Secretary for the first Programme on Race Relations. After leaving in 1962 to serve on the Episcopal Church’s National Council and then on the Executive Council (1965), he returned to the WCC in 1968 to join the Division of World Mission and Evangelism, where he was in charge of a program for Urban and Industrial Mission in 48 countries.

Daisuke Kitagawa died on a Good Friday, March 27, 1970.

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